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Building your career: becoming a chartered architect


Architecture offers an exciting career for talented individuals. Becoming a qualified architect needs much more than drawing talent and a strong creative streak however. Good maths, IT and computer skills are essential, along with a high level of accuracy, analytical skills and a genuine, deep interest in the built environment.


Training as an architect in the UK takes at least seven years. Anyone who is interested in pursuing a career as an architect should look to study an undergraduate degree in architecture. This will take a minimum of three years to complete. Once you have graduated, the next step is postgraduate study for a Masters degree in architecture. You will also need to undertake a minimum of two years of practical experience under supervision before you can study for a Professional Diploma, which is the final step in qualifying as an Architect and registering for ARB and/or RIBA status.


In the UK the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is the Association that represents the highest standards for Architects. The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland specifically represents Architects in Scotland. Both provide quality assurance and ensure continuing professional development of their members. The Architects Registration Board regulates architects themselves in terms of qualifications and conduct and only architects registered with ARB can legally use the title of ‘Architect’.


Once qualified, you must register with the ARB and can also apply to become a member of the RIBA, which would allow you add the initials RIBA after your name. If an Architectural Practices meet the stringent requirements, they can apply to become a RIBA Chartered Practice.


Some architects choose to specialise in one particular area such as residential, commercial/urban/masterplanning, conservation, healthcare, education and sustainability. Qualified architects can work freelance or open their own practice or stay within an established firm and work their way up, gaining further experience all the while.


Contact us, if you want to find out more about a career in architecture or you are an architect looking for your next professional opportunity.


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